Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Marie Cianca

Second Supervisor

Idonia Owens


The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the strategies used by select secondary school principals to increase the graduation rates among Black males in schools close to urban centers in New York State. Using culturally proficient leadership theory as a lens, this study sought to gain a better understanding of what secondary school principals are doing to increase the graduation rates of Black males. Data in this study were collected using semi-structured interviews of secondary school principals with successful graduation rates for Black males. A purposeful sampling model was used to select six to eight secondary school principals and ask them about their strategies. This study demonstrated that secondary school principals can close the graduation gap between White and Black males by using certain strategies. Several themes emerged from this study in response to the research questions. The findings from this study revealed that: secondary school principals must know that they are the orchestrators of the success within their schools; secondary school principals must be knowledgeable about culturally proficient leadership strategies; and Black males need a voice in their schools. Findings from this study will help guide secondary principals and assist superintendents in hiring and developing leaders.

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